Robbery Suspects Toss Money Out SUV Window During LA Pursuit - NBC Southern California
Southern California Pursuits

Southern California Pursuits

Coverage and raw video of Southern California's wild pursuits

Robbery Suspects Toss Money Out SUV Window During LA Pursuit

"Kind of like a Robin Hood situation, rob from the rich, give to the poor," said one witness



    Witness: Money Tossed During Pursuit Created "Riot"

    Student Tia Marks says she didn’t feel safe as she tried to get back to her South LA home in the midst of a chaotic scene after alleged bank robbers turned pursuit suspects tossed cash out of the window of their Volvo SUV. Many bystanders say they couldn’t resist trying to pick up a few bills, some of them dodging squad cars to do so. Patrick Healy reports from South LA from the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2012. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013)

    Hundreds of bystanders swarmed the scene of a high-speed pursuit in South Los Angeles Wednesday as police tried to apprehend alleged robbers who were tossing money out of their getaway vehicle.

    "This isn't something we see every day," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Capt. Mike Parker said. "This definitely had some unique aspects to it."

    More than a dozen times during the pursuit, handfuls of cash were thrown out of the backseat window of a black Volvo SUV that authorities had pursued from the scene of an alleged armed bank robbery in the Canyon Country area.

    Photos: Robbers Spill Money in Pursuit

    Mystery Woman Sought in Pursuit

    [LA] Mystery Woman Sought in "Robin Hood" Chase
    Police on Wednesday were asking the public for help in identifying a woman in a green jacket who hopped into a pursuit suspect's vehicle, appeared to take something then disappeared among a crowd that had gathered moments after the chase ended in South LA. The woman was captured by NBC4's cameras. During the chase, suspects threw wads of cash out of the window of their Volvo SUV during the pursuit. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from South LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2012.
    (Published Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012)

    "If they thought that by throwing money out the window, that that would distract us or have people get in the way and block us -- they're going to run out of money," Parker said "We're not going to run out of sheriff's deputies. We're not going to run of helicopters. We're going to stick with them."

    "I can't imagine they did this for the good of the community," Parker later added.

    During the pursuit, onlookers were waving to the suspected bank robbers, apparently signaling for them to throw more money. At times, the vehicle had to navigate through dozens of people in the streets west and soutwest of downtown LA.

    Raw Video: Cash Tossed During SUV Pursuit

    [LA] Cash Tossed From SUV During Los Angeles Pursuit
    Suspects toss cash from a sport utility vehicle during a pursuit that began after a bank robbery in the Santa Clarita area on Sept. 12, 2012. Raw Video.
    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012)

    Parker said there are either four or five suspects. They were armed with at least one handgun, he said.

    Two were taken into custody at the end of the pursuit.

    Police were searching for two other suspects in the Sylmar area. Aerial video showed a person being taken into custody in Sylmar at about 1 p.m., although it was not immediately clear whether the person was connected to the case.

    "Robin Hood" Chase Begins as Bank Robbery in Canyon Country

    [LA] "Robin Hood" Chase Begins as Bank Robbery in Canyon Country
    Witnesses say three men in ski masks entered a Bank of America in Canyon Country, forced tellers to their knees and instructed them to open the vault before leading police on a chase during which they tossed wads of cash out of their Volvo SUV. A fourth man drove the getaway car, sheriff’s say. The men were arrested in Sylmar and South LA. Lolita Lopez reports from Canyon Country for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2012.
    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012)

    The pursuit began around 10 a.m. in the Canyon Country area following a Bank of America robbery. It ended about 80 minutes later in South LA near the intersection of Vernon and Kansas avenues (map).

    A crowd of people gathered around the SUV after it was forced to stop because of traffic.

    Officers exited their squad cars to confront the alleged robbers and were able to take them into custody among the sea of onlookers.

    "Glad This Person Came to Throw" Money

    [LA] Crowd Gathers Around Suspects, Officers at End of Pursuit
    "I'm just so glad this person came to throw this money," said one bystander who was part of a crowd that gathered at the end of a pursuit in South LA. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.
    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012)

    Within minutes of the pursuit ending, the crowd started growing (pictured, below). Aerial video showed dozens of people swarming around the suspects' car and police vehicles. By 11:30 a.m., hundreds of people were estimated at the scene.

    Aerial video from NewsChopper 4 showed a woman walking up to the black SUV, and picking something up off the ground. Parker later confirmed it was a dog that had gotten loose.

    Another woman can be seen leaping into the vehicle (photo/video embedded, below). It's unclear if she removed anything from the SUV.


    Traffic in the area was snarled for hours.

    A witness at the scene said she was bowled over by the alleged robbers' actions.

    "I'm just so glad this person came to throw this money in the 'hood, basically. You usually see robbers and they take their stuff and they leave. But this guy came over and tried to help us out. You know, it's a big depression nowadays," said the woman, who identified herself as a 23-year-old resident of the area. 

    "So It's more like all of us are supporting the robbers and the cops. He's doing something I never though a robber would ever do. "

    "Kind of like a Robin Hood situation, rob from the rich, give to the poor. Everybody's out to kind of get some of the money," another resident told NBC4.

    The chase included the southbound 110 Freeway and surface streets just west of downtown before heading into South LA.

    No injuries were reported at the robbery, said Sgt. Daniel Stanley of the Sheriff's Department in Santa Clarita.

    An NBC4 viewer called the station to say her son was one of the bank tellers approached by the alleged robbers. Her son described the men as wearing ski masks and black gloves, and said one of them jumped over the counter and forced three employees to their knees on the floor.

    The alleged robbers asked her son to get them into the bank vault, the caller said. He wasn't able to do so, but another employee complied.

    The FBI described the incident as a takeover-style robbery, meaning everyone in the bank was aware a robbery was in progress. The FBI is investigating any possible connection to other recent robberies.

    This is the third police pursuit this week. On Tuesday night, a suspect was shot by police following an hour-long pursuit through neighborhoods near downtown.

    On Monday, a driver led police on a pursuit for hours. He managed to flee the vehicle and evade arrest.



    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment:iPhone/iPad App | Facebook| Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Email Alerts